[Infographic] Our Journey to 100K: How We Built an Always-On Content Strategy

May 17, 2016

Friends, Romans, marketers, lend me your ears: We come not to pat ourselves on the back, but to give you a hearty high-five. You just helped us hit a major milestone. Last week, the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Showcase Page reached over 100,000 followers.

We’re grateful so many of you chose to join our Sophisticated Marketer’s community. We think the best way to celebrate is to deliver even more value. So we decided to pull back the curtain and show you how our team nurtured this community and helped it grow.

Over the last two years, we have developed and refined an always-on content strategy that made the Showcase Page a destination for marketers. It’s a plan we encourage you to adopt for your own Company or Showcase Page.

The infographic below has a complete timeline of how the page found an audience (and vice versa), from inception right up to now. Check out the infographic for all the specifics. But first, read on for some key takeaways.

Why a LinkedIn Company Page or Showcase Page?

There are 7.2 million Company Pages on LinkedIn. Showcase Pages are extensions of your LinkedIn Company Page, and are great for spotlighting a specific brand, business unit, or initiative. Companies that invest in using Company Pages and Showcase Pages as a platform have seen pretty stellar results.

For example, ADP used Sponsored Updates to help grow their audience to over 300,000 followers with over 1.3 million impressions per month. Now, LinkedIn is the number one social referrer to ADP’s website. 

Even our fellow marketers at HubSpot saw the value of Company Pages. Through their page, they improved lead generation efforts and saw a higher conversion rate from their followers than from other sources.

Here’s a quick summary of how we built our Showcase Page following, with plenty of testing and iterating along the way.

A Quick Tactical Overview

Company and Showcase Pages are indexed by Google, and they benefit from LinkedIn’s high domain authority. Before we started posting Showcase Page content in 2014, we optimized the headline and introduction to bring in organic traffic.

We started posting 1-2 times a day, using our other social channels to promote the page. We asked questions in posts to start discussions.

As our audience grew, we continued to experiment. We posted at different times to see what got the most engagement. We kept things fresh with a mix of eBooks, case studies, how-to content, and relevant third-party content.

Then we started sponsoring our top performing posts as LinkedIn Sponsored Content. We kept the content mix fresh and used Sponsored Content campaigns for lead generation, brand awareness, and thought leadership.

When Direct Sponsored Content launched, we used it to incorporate more A/B testing. Now we post 3-4 times a day, and include a mix of blog posts, external links, and embedded rich media. We keep the text short (around 150 characters works best for us) and make sure the visuals pop.

What We Learned: Three Big Themes

As we put together our infographic timeline, we overlaid the tactics we used with a graph of our follower count. We noticed three recurring themes that coincided with peaks in the number of new followers:

Test Everything.

We never wanted the page to get stagnant, so we constantly tried new things and, most importantly, made good use of the Company Page analytics to see what worked. We tested different times and frequencies of posting. We tried creating serial, themed posts. We even did some posts without links, just looking to start a conversation. We tried different headlines, post lengths, images, and content mixes. And we continue to change it up.

Using Direct Sponsored Content, we A/B tested background color:

 

We tested a stat versus a quote:

 

We also tested the use of 'guide' versus 'eBook' to see which resonated more with our audience:

 

Visual Is the New Headline.

When we added more visual interest, we got more attention. Every post is accompanied by a photo (1200x627 pixels is best). We try to sprinkle some really eye-catching visuals throughout, like this cool cat:

And images that lift short stats and quotes out of larger pieces of content:

The more we make the page beautiful, the more followers we get.

Organic Is Good. Paid Is Better.

It’s always great when your audience finds you, but with Sponsored Content, we could choose our audience. You can pick the people who will appreciate your content most, and deliver it in a way that compels a click.

Counting to 100k (and beyond!) with Relevant Content

And now, without further ado, the infographic –each theme has its own color so that you can follow the effect of each theme on the timeline:

It’s amazing to hit a major milestone like this in just two years. Thanks again to every one of our followers. We pledge to keep posting content that helps you become a better marketer while we strive to become better marketers ourselves.

If you haven’t yet joined our community, follow our LinkedIn Showcase Page and jump into the conversation.

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